Advancing Racial Justice in Addiction Medicine

Policy Statement from the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM)

Addiction involves complex interactions among an individual’s brain circuits, genetics, the environment, and their life experiences. Racism disproportionately shapes the environment and life experiences of Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Asian, Pacific Islander, Native American, and other racially oppressed and disenfranchised people (hereinafter collectively referred to as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), adversely influencing both their risk of developing addiction and their access to evidence-based addiction treatment services. While police and civilian murders of Black people in the United States of America have highlighted the deadly consequences of racism, they have also illuminated the impact of the long-standing systemic racism in the United States. Systemic racism has been defined as “a system in which public policies, institutional practices, cultural representations, and other norms work in various, often reinforcing ways to perpetuate racial group inequity.” Read more

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